The committee investigating alleged unethical conducts and the sexual harassment of suspects’ family members by policemen attached to the Anti-Kidnapping and Anti-Cultism Squad of the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Yaba, Lagos State, has started its sitting.
PUNCH Metro learnt from sources that all the parties were present at the meeting on Thursday, during which the former Officer-in-Charge of the Anti-Kidnapping and Anti-Cultism Squad, CSP Akinade Adejobi, and his men were quizzed.
Although the Commissioner of Police in Lagos State, Edgal Imohimi, gave the committee seven days to submit its report, our correspondent gathered that the panel might conclude its investigation on Friday (today).
Our correspondent had reported that a mother of two, Blessing Taiwo, had been accused by her boss, Mrs. Abiola Osagie, of stealing $50,000.
Osagie, who is the Managing Director of the Ikoyi, Lagos office of AfricInvest, a multinational consulting and equity firm, had alleged that she left the money in the office before going on a trip for a few weeks.
She said by the time she returned, the money had disappeared, adding that 43-year-old Blessing had explanations to give concerning the missing money.
The Abeokuta, Ogun State indigene, was said to have been arrested by policemen from the Ikoyi division, along with Osagie’s driver, Mr. Oluwaseun Sodiya, who was paid N10,000 to clean up the office during his boss’ absence.
The matter was later transferred from the police station to the SCIID, Yaba, from where it was referred to the Anti-Kidnapping and Anti-Cultism Squad, Surulere.
PUNCH Metro reported that the suspects were detained for four days as the OC, Adejobi, allegedly refused to grant them bail.
He was alleged to have admitted them to bail after Blessing’s family paid N50,000 out of the N70,000 charged for her freedom, while the driver’s family paid N29,000 before he was released.
Blessing’s sister, Florence, alleged that she (Florence) was always harassed by the policemen anytime she took food to her sister in the cell, adding that the policemen touched her private parts and breasts.
The driver’s wife, Oluwanifemi, also alleged that she was sexually assaulted, saying one of the policemen caressed her and demanded a date despite knowing that she was married.
The state CP, Imohimi, after removing Adejobi as the head of the unit, set up a committee to investigate the allegations.
He also returned the original case to the Ikoyi Police Station.
During the Thursday sitting of the committee, PUNCH Metro gathered that the embattled OC denied knowledge of the sexual harassment, adding that when he heard of the bail issue, he acted promptly by punishing the policemen involved.
The meeting reportedly started at 11am and ended at 2.15pm.
A source said, “Three people were actually detained: Blessing, the driver, and a cleaner. Blessing’s sister, Folakemi, said she paid N50,000; the driver’s family said they paid N29,000, while the cleaner said his family paid N22,000.
“One of the policemen said to have collected the money, Sheu, denied making any demand for money or collecting anything. But Blessing’s family confronted him with hard evidence.
“They said the man demanded N2m and they thought he was joking. Later, they said they begged him to collect N40,000, but he refused, saying they should make it N200,000 because he would not be able to present N40,000 to his superiors, who will not accept it. In the end, they gave him N50,000.”
Adejobi was reported to have said he was not around on the day of the incident.
The second-in-command of the former OC is expected to present himself for questioning on Friday.
Our correspondent learnt that the Divisional Police Officer in charge of the Ikoyi division was asked why he transferred the case to the SCIID.
“The Ikoyi DPO said he transferred the case due to the volume of money involved, which was beyond the capacity of his